Burn After Watching?

Some viewers will be impressed with John Malkovich’s performance, where as others will be left wondering what Victor Meldrew is doing in a Hollywood blockbuster
Often depending on a heavy orchestral soundtrack, energised by dramatic and barbaric percussion, to strengthen the film’s attempt to be a thriller, Tilda Swinton is the only actress to cut the mustard in Burn After Reading: dominating all of her scenes, she is easily the most masculine character. Her performance as the over-stressed, power-dressed and machinistic divorcee-mess makes the film worth watching. Her authoritive ease with language and perfect delivery of expression is invariably strong.

Unfortunately the weak script full of cavitous humour begins to singe Burn After Reading, it is riddled with “Oh my God!”s and “”What the fuck!”s, too many easy laughs are cashed-in on with a two-dimensional satirisation of contemporary America with its high-energy TV personalities and plastic surgery fixation. What is enjoyable is the momentary attention paid towards nostalgia and kleptomania in relation to identity, the whole picture is riddled with references towards the paraphernalia inside wallets, college photos that depict innocence and the individuality brought about by sartorial choice.

Brad Pitt comes across as problematic, relying on his instant popularity with mainstream viewers, his acting hides behind humour but seems almost amateur in places. Is he self-consciously casting himself as a loser in films these days? Perhaps it's his own way of counter-acting ageing and diminishing beauty, if only he could grow into some mature actor shoes like DiCaprio has managed to do successfully in recent projects. Burn After Reading treats its viewers to at least three scenes with Pitt dancing without inhibitions to music in his headphones, and the popcorn-scoffing ladies in the audience burst into annoying erratic laughter each time.
The Coen brothers are well-known for their films in which genres blend together. Burn After Reading is certainly enjoyable, Emanuel Lubezki’s assistance with cinematography is a major attribute, as are McDormand’s and Swinton’s performances, but the film struggles to combine the comedic with the sincere, instead holding an unsatisfying grip of either. Having said this, I did enjoy the film, and would possibly give it a second chance when I have more time. (7/10)
I DONT BELIEVE IT: Not only does Victor Meldrew look like John Malkovich but he pre-empts Burberry's Autumn/Winter 2007 collection.
Review and Words by Jack Cullen


  1. I am very impressed by your dedication to journalism, your a very good writer.

  2. Meldrew is a far superior actor to Pitt. Objectively.

  3. Well, I thought Brad was hilarious. And I don't even fancy him. So there.

  4. Thanks guys. I think Brad Pitt definitely has a time and a place. He's good at being doll-headed jocks or PYTs, like in his first films 'Across The Tracks' and of course 'Thelma & Louise'.

    A little birdie also told me that he has his own gym that he lets good looking guys between 18-25 apply to join, members include the debatably homosexual Jared Leto. (?)If I over-eat again this Christmas I might apply.